Summer Updates

I can’t believe that I’ve not updated this blog since back in February. Oops! It seems that once again, time has flown and I’m now doing a dump of lots of cakes I’ve made this year.

No full stories, just pictures of the cakes and their descriptions

Teddy Bear Birthday cake (chocolate)
America Cake (red velvet)
Inside of the cake – flag based layers!
A mass of cupcakes for workmates when I changed reporting teams
A small wedding cake for a friend’s wedding
Alan Turing cake for Pride Month
Inside of the Pride cake – rainbow vanilla layers
Unicorn Birthday Cake
Inside of the Unicorn cake
A bright cake (lemon cake + lemon curd)
Made some mini macarons
Russian Nozzle – flower cupcakes (chocolate cake, vanilla icing)

January Birthdays

My Niece, Amber, Wanted a ballerina cake for her sixth birthday. I got it in my head that pink ruffles would be the way to do this… how much did I regret trying these when the icing kept dropping off the cake?

I suppose the plus side is that when I am not a professional and I am not getting paid, I don’t have to worry too much when things go wrong.

Another birthday treat was some chocolate cupcakes made for my sister in law’s birthday:

Nothing overly exciting for these – chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. I chucked some Cadbury Miniature Heroes on top and some blue sprinkles to bring some colour.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

My workmate finished working with us a few weeks back. Normally in the office I’d take a cake in to say goodbye, but we’ve all been working from home thanks to the pandemic. Thankfully, he lives quite local so I dropped a cake to him in person to say goodbye and good luck.

He had told me he liked cheesecake. I don’t like making the crust though so I decided he could have the baked cheesecake layers sandwiched between red velvet cake layers:

a shot of the sliced cake to show the layers inside

I had stacked the layers with a cream cheese frosting, which was also used to ice the outside of the cake.

beginning to stack the cheesecake and cake layers. The cheesecake looked a lot browner on the outsides
stacked cake before it was coated with cream cheese frosting

To finish the cake, I shaved some white chocolate shards to coat the outside, and topped it off with red velvet crumbs:

coated in cream cheese frosting, white chocolate shards, and a red velvet crumb.

Christmas Treats

I got started on Christmas stuff earlier this year, and ended up with all my “home made treats” completed at the end of last week. As such I took a load around to friends’ houses to share the sugary goodness.

Some of the treats as photo’d by a friend!

The offerings were:

Chocolate Coated Oreos

These were Oreos, coating in various chocolate, and decorated to look Christmassy. Sadly I made the error of putting them in the fridge, and by the time they got delivered the milk and dark chocolate ones had bloomed.

Gingerbread Fudge

Made with white chocolate, condensed milk, ginger spice, and gingerbread cookies all broken up. Topped with some Christmas sprinkles! I used this recipe from Janes Patisserie.

Eggnog Truffles

The eggnog truffles are AMAZING if I am allowed to say so. Made with white chocolate, cream cheese, rum flavouring and nutmeg. They are very easy to make, but taste delicious. Recipe from Six Sisters Stuff.

Reindeer Brownies

Made chocolate fudge brownies, cut into squares, then topped with some edible eyes, a red m&m, and pretzels for antlers.

Peanut butter dog treats (for those with dogs!)

The dogs don’t get forgotten at Christmas – these were Peanut Butter dog biscuits made with all natural Peanut Butter. I stamped the bigger ones with dog names, but they didn’t quite show up once they had baked, hence trying to use icing pens to show the names

The recipe for the dog treats was from The Cookie Rookie.

Some of the PB dog treats in a jar
“Make your own” cookie jar

The ingredients & instructions to make their own cookies one day in the future.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Autumn Carrot Cake

I had a request to make an “autumnal carrot cake” and this was what I made

The cake was a carrot cake recipe taken from Chelsweets, though I only used half the amount on her site. It was a good cake!!

The cake was stacked, and iced with cream cheese frosting, and I coloured some fondant to cut out the leaves (with a plunger set from Amazon).

Loaf Cakes

L-R: Lemon Gin Cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Spiced Courgette Cake.

I was trying to keep myself busy a few weeks back to distract from feeling sad (one of my friends had died and we had been to his funeral). This resulted in me spending a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen baking up some random loaf-cakes. I didn’t originally plan on making three cakes, I just got carried away again.

Lemon Gin Cake

The first cake I made was a lemon + gin pound cake. This is made using equal weights of egg, sugar, butter and flour, and then adding gin and lemon juice to the mixture. Normally you can really taste the gin, but on this occasion I must have gone too easy. It’s topped with a gin + lemon soak.

Spiced Courgette Cake

The second cake I made was a vegan cake: spiced courgette cake with a lemon glaze. This was made following a recipe from Domestic Gothess that turned out so well I made the cake again the weekend after!

Vegan Lemon Drizzle

The third cake I made this day was a vegan lemon drizzle cake; again made with a recipe from Domestic Gothess

Again, this turned out really well and was very tasty!

As I wasn’t ever going to eat 3 loaf cakes to myself, I ended up slicing them all up and packaging them into cellophane wrappers to send to some people in the post as a pick-me-up / thank you for their help over recent weeks. It was a LOT of cake:

Mini Unicorn Cake

Back in January, i made a unicorn cake for my eldest niece. When I posted a picture of it on the socials, a friend (jokingly) commented when her birthday was. I noted to make her a unicorn cake for her birthday which I dropped off at her house as a surprise.

It was only after I dropped it off and looked at the pictures did I realise that I had forgotten to make some ears for the unicorn. Oh well! She liked it anyways.

The cake was made with red-velvet Baileys so the pink colour actually came from using the Baileys.

Luckily for me, there was spare cake at the end from trimming the top layers, so I made some mini cakes for me & my Husband:

Digger Birthday Cake

At the start of July, my niece turned 3. She’s really into diggers, so I decided it would be easy enough to make a digger themed cake.

It was just a generic vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam, but I used some crushed up oreos and Toy diggers to make the cake digger themed.

As well as cake, we also had a bouncy castle in the garden, which I am sure was far more fun for me than for the nieces!

Who cares that it was raining all day when there was the bouncy castle to have fun!

Jungle 1st Birthday Cake

One of the girls who I used to play Roller Derby with got in touch with me earlier in the summer to ask if I’d be willing to make her son’s first birthday cake as she had always loved my cakes (what a nice compliment!). I can be fussy when it comes to making cakes as I don’t usually like using fondant – at least not to cover cakes.

She asked for chocolate cake, with something jungle themed. went for this:

The cupcakes were made to have little animal cake toppers on, which were a tad easier than icing a full cake in fondant. I was happy with this one, although I couldn’t get the buttercream quite perfect. I need to buy a new cake scraper to see if a metal one works better than plastic.

a view from the top to show the animals

Soft Baked Pretzels

How is it that we’ve been in lock down since March, and I still feel that there’s no time to do anything (aka keep this blog updated). Looking back through my photos, I’ve got loads of bakes that I hadn’t uploaded from the last few months, so I suppose this means I’ll have quite a few posts to add over this week!

First up – soft baked Pretzels!

I’ve been following Neurotic Mom on Instagram for quite a while now. Amy adds her bakes there, as well as other channels including You Tube. I took this upon myself to follow one of her recipes by making soft baked pretzels back in May!

I usually only bake cakes, as bread seemed scary. I had some quick yeast in though so decided it was time to try some bread baking. Following Amy’s video made it all really easy – and I had yummy pretzels to eat that week (including some beer cheese  I made the next day to go with the savory pretzel)

Left the dough proving slightly too long – it tried to escape
Formed the pretzels
After the Pretzels had their water bath
After baking
With beer cheese & a beer!